Sharia News Watch 49
- Sharia News Watch 49 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*]
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
Afghanistan Celebrates 11th anniversary of Islamic Revolution
http://www.afgha.com/?af=article&sid=32706 - 28 Apr 03
a ceremony to honor the 11th anniversary of Mujahideen's victory
Dr.Najib Ullah's regime was held in Kabul today (Monday).
How Jihad Made Its Way to Chechnya - 26 Apr 03
This isolated southwest Russian village of dirt roads and one-story
clay brick houses was profoundly peaceful, its residents say, until a
Jordanian cleric named Khabib Abdurrakhman arrived in the early 1990s
with a seemingly irresistible deal.
To a hamlet made destitute by the collapse of the Soviet Union,
Abdurrakhman brought a slaughtered cow and a free feast every week. In
a place where many people were left jobless by the demise of the local
collective farm, he handed out $30 to every convert who came to his
simple mosque. And to those adrift in the social chaos of the Soviet
breakdown, he offered a new purpose in life -- a form of their
traditional Islam rooted in fundamentalism and militancy.
By 1999, Abdurrakhman's growing band of followers had transformed the
little settlement into an armed enclave, crisscrossed by tunnels and
trenches and stockpiled with weapons for Abdurrakhman's true mission:
severing Dagestan from Russian control and merging it into an Islamic
state with neighboring Chechnya.
Col. Ilya Shabalkin, a spokesman for Russian forces in Chechnya, said
Arabs still make up about one-fifth of Chechnya's roughly 1,000 active
armed militants, who are increasingly confined to the republic's
forests and mountains. "The Arabs are the specialists, they are the
experts in mines and communications," Shabalkin said. He identified
their leader as Abu Walid, a Saudi who showed up in Chechnya in the
The money, Russians say, comes from known terrorist groups such as al
Qaeda and from some 40 organizations masquerading as charities in the
Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. The flow of funds has diminished
since U.S. and Russian intelligence began jointly clamping down on
terrorist financing after the Sept. 11 attacks. Even so, the Russians
say, $500,000 to $1 million a month still reaches Chechnya, delivered
in small sums by couriers who travel Georgia's rugged mountain paths.
One source is a Saudi charity, al Haramain, according to Russia's
Federal Security Service. In an internal memo provided by the agency,
the FSB accused the charity of wiring $1 million to Chechen rebels in
1999 and of arranging to buy 500 heavy weapons for them from Taliban
Al Haramain says it distributed blankets, clothing and food in
Chechnya but stopped its work there 14 months ago. "We do not have any
relationship with any terrorist activities," said Shaykh Aqeel Aqeel,
the charity's director. "We work under the supervision of the Saudi
The Arabs' goal went beyond preserving Chechnya's freedom: They wanted
to merge Chechnya and Dagestan to create an Islamic state. Chechnya
and Dagestan were poorer than the rest of Russia, and Dagestan, though
home to a mosaic of ethnic groups, was predominantly Muslim. Its
access to the Caspian Sea and its oil and gas reserves gave it a
strategic importance to Russia that Chechnya did not share.
In March 2002, the Saudi and American governments shut down Haramain's
branches in Bosnia and Somalia, which they suspected of funneling
money to extremists under cover of supporting Islamic schools and
orphanages. At the time, United States officials cited the closures as
evidence of improved cooperation with Saudi Arabia on fighting
terrorism. But newspapers in Saudi Arabia later reported that the
group continued to operate in Bosnia.
Divorce doubles in Fujairah - 28 Apr 03
The Sharia Court has recorded an almost 100 per cent increase in the
number of divorces, and the Public Prosecution saw a 36 per cent rise
in penal cases.
A Sharia Court source said 142 couples were divorced in 2002 compared
to 73 in 2001. "The increase in divorces among UAE nationals and
expatriates is alarming. It also reflects the lack of social awareness
programmes arranged by social centres."
First Sharia Advisory Office in the Offing - 28 Apr 03
What could be a trial start to a new sharia advisory office is in the
offing in The Gambia aimed at giving guidance to members of the public
on issues, revolving around Islamic precepts of daily living and
It will be the first such enterprise in the country with a drive to
give advise on marriages, divorce, family life, inheritance and
demystify the overarching concept of sharia for the multitude of
people whose understanding of it may be shallow. It initiators, who
said it was resulting from their protracted study and analysis of the
situation, believe that such an office is of overriding necessity
against a backdrop of ignorance of Islamic precepts, that inherently
prevents individuals from making informed decisions on issues that
affect them from the Islamic perspective.
Leon H. Sullivan Summit
The office already established in Serrekunda London will also be
engaged in legal translation from Arabic to English and vice versa and
will also be available for land valuation.
Mohammed Lamin Jaiteh and Mohammed Jaiteh (Hamma) explained that over
the past ten years they have observed that a number of cases have
reached the Cadi's court that should have been laid to rest by an
advisory office, rendering it unnecessary for them to be heard by the
"Some complaints that go to the courts the Islamic courts need not go
there if the parties involved are given expert advise over the wisdom
or otherwise of doing so.
The Jaiteh brothers expounded on the burden unleashed on the Islamic
court in the Gambia as a result of profound ignorance of sharia, a
concept, which has been overridden by misinterpretations relating to
the dreaded amputation as retribution meted out against moral
"Sharia is all-encompassing, it entails the whole behaviour of Muslims
in an Islamic environment and not only about amputation as widely and
erroneously held" they argued, pointing out that their drive is to
plumb the depth of such a concept and lay it bare for the simple
understanding of those who may be initially prone to misrepresent it
to their own detriment.
National Mosque Complex Gobbles ¢ 800m So Far - 24 Apr 03
The Islamic community in Accra was robbed of its historic mosque when
in the heady days of the 1979 mutiny, the military junta decided to
demolish it ostensibly flush out 'economic saboteurs' who they claimed
were operating in the building.
The National Mosque Complex was originally to cost $2m [EUR 200.000,-]
when it was started about three years ago.
The delay in the completion of the project has been a subject of
gossip among many members of the Islamic faith who question why
Muslims in the country are unable to com up with enough resources on
their own to execute such projects.
With the re-stated commitment by the Saudi envoy however it is hoped
that his government would make good its promise of assisting in the
completion of the project. For now the main central mosque in the city
of Accra remains the Abossey Okai Mosque whose patronage is not as
encouraging as it was for the demolished one. When the Kawokudi
National Complex is completed it would certainly enhance the image of
Islam in Ghana.
Wife's pregnancy not reason for making marriage void: SC
In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has held that a marriage
under the Muslim law cannot be held invalid or void because of the
allegation by the husband that the wife was pregnant at the time of
[Andhra Pradesh] Madrassas form board in Andhra Pradesh - 26 Apr 03
The managements of madrassas or Islamic seminaries in Andhra Pradesh
have formed a Madarssa Board to counter what they say is a slander
campaign by rightwing Hindu groups. Heads of about 200 madrassas will
meet here Saturday to chalk out a course of action to counter those
branding them as running training schools for terrorists. The first
convention of the board will discuss ways to bring about coordination
among managements of madrassas and streamline their administration.
Moulana Auqil said the madrassas taught those who were poor and mainly
from rural areas. The schools provided them free boarding, lodging and
education. He recalled that madrassas had played a great role in the
struggle for India's independence.
Rahim Qureshi, a legal advisor of the board and secretary of All India
Muslim Personal Law Board, said the seminaries met most of their
funding from charities and other voluntary donations.
He also questioned plans for the so-called modernization of madrassas.
He said the seminaries could not be directed to teach a particular
subject. .. He, however, pointed out that many madrassas had
introduced subjects like English, mathematics and computer sciences.
[Bengal] Double hurdle to airport land claim - 24 Apr 03
The final word on the shifting of the masjid-mazhar-graveyard outside
the airport may already have been uttered by the Supreme Court which,
at least on two separate occasions, has ruled that it is well nigh
impossible to change the character of land once used as a graveyard.
Experts on Muslim law - already sounded by the West Bengal
Commission - have cited the two instances which, officials feel, may
be the biggest roadblock yet to the Airports Authority of India's
plans to shift the mosque complex outside the airport boundary.
Another speedbreaker has appeared from the direction of the state
administration, which has - in an official communique - categorically
said there is "at present, no proposal" to shift any of the
structures outside the airport boundary.
Taken together, they "appear to set back" AAI plans to do
the Mathpara Burra Masjid for the construction of a cargo-handling
unit, admit officials.
"Two Supreme Court rulings one delivered in 1976 and the
1998 on graveyards and wakf properties make it abundantly clear
changing the character of a plot of land once used as a graveyard is
next to impossible," one of the experts sounded by the commission
said. "The absence or presence of documents to prove whether the
was really a graveyard is of no relevance," he added.
The 1998 case (Syed Ali versus Andhra Pradesh Wakf Board), arbitrated
by Justice A.S. Anand and Justice V.N. Khare, ruled that a wakf
property was a "permanent dedication of property for purposes
by Muslim law".
Many Indonesians turn to shamans despite discouragement - 29 Apr 03
No diagnosis is too strange for Indonesia's shamans known here
dukun and who attract millions of patients despite increased awareness
of modern medical treatment. Their work sits uneasily with religious
authorities in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Since the 1960s, Muslim clerics have been struggling to popularize a
form of Islam that is free of the mysticism and magic that laces much
of Indonesian culture.
Diagnostic methods and treatments vary, but most shamans draw on Hindu
and Muslim beliefs and a large dollop of theatrics.
The Islamic establishment, which forbids flirtation with superstition
or practices from older religions, is alarmed at the continuing
popularity of shamans.
Ex-Indonesian leader defends controversial singer - 29 Apr 03
Former president Abdurrahman Wahid has come to the defence of hugely
popular Indonesian singer Inul Daratista, whose dance style has been
condemned as erotic by several Muslim leaders.
Wahid was answering criticism from Islamic preacher and rock star
Rhoma Irama, who has branded Inul's dance style as "haram" or
forbidden by the religion. Wahid -- himself a Muslim cleric -- said
Irama was obstructing freedom of expression in the name of religion,
Tuesday's Media Indonesia daily reported.
Islamic authorities in several provinces have banned Inul from
performing. But Wahid said Inul's dance was part of her artistic
expression and was not illegal.
Iraq's wannabes to meet today - 28 Apr 03
While the IDP [Islamic Dawa Party] wants Iraq to be governed under
Islamic or Sharia law, it does not want to model itself after the
fundamentalist Islamic government in Iran, Alanzi said. He cannot
explain why the coalition forces have not invited the IDP to today's
meeting, especially since the party has broad support among the Iraqis
and has offices in 23 cities and towns.
Iraqi Shiites leaving Iran to study at home - 27 April 03
Grand Ayatollah Kadhem al-Husseini al-Haeri, has issued a fatwa, or
religious edict, calling on Shiites to "seize the first possible
opportunity to fill the power vacuum in the future administration of
Iraq and play their role in reconstructing their country."
But the younger [brother] al-Haeri said the exodus of clerics to Iraq
should not be seen as a campaign by Shiite clerics to seize power and
run Iraq with a religious government.
Free of Hussein's Rule, Sunnis in North Flaunt A Long-Hidden Piety
.. - 23 Apr 03
A political party has resurfaced calling for the establishment of
Islamic rule through the electoral process. But after decades of
dictatorial rule, there is also public sentiment that could diminish
the appeal of fundamentalism. There appears to be widespread distrust,
expressed by Mr. Ahmed and others, of any political party that would
try to dictate to people how to live, work or worship.
The group is the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni Muslim organization that
was recently re-established after being banned for decades. A few
miles from Mr. Ahmed's neighborhood mosque, workers at the party's
main office are churning out pamphlets calling for the establishment
of Islamic law by peaceful means. The group's program opposes the use
of violence and supports multiparty democracy, but wants an Islamic
government formed in Iraq. "Islam is a way of life," said Idris
al-Haj Dawood, a party leader. "Organizing this life will only be a
law taken from Islam."
In Mosul, where fuel is in short supply and power and running water
are gradually being restored after a 10-day absence, the party's
office is an island of efficiency. The group has taken over the former
offices of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, a symbol of the old government
that was run by Mr. Hussein's son, Uday.
Dr. Dawood said the party was established in 1960 but banned in 1961
by Iraq's military ruler at the time. Many of its members fled, but
Dr. Dawood, a bearded 68-year-old physician, remained in the country
and continued to work underground in Mosul, he said. For years, Mr.
Hussein's state security apparatus tried to crush the spread of
fundamentalism in and around Mosul. The city became known as a center
of Wahhabism, a strict form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.
We Will Join U.S.-Installed Government: Scholar - 26 Apr 03
Take to the streets to make the Americans hear your voice and know
your weight, the head of the society of Iraqi scholars, Dr. Ahmad
al-Kubaizi, addressed a throng of Imams and scholars, who huddled
together in an auditorium at the society's headquarters.
Asked about the new Islamic drive in Iraq in view of the country's
religious mosaic, Kubaizi said the Iraqi people, who had fallen down
under decades of unspeakable and unprecedented intimidation, are in a
dire need to have a "respite," in politics terms they need a
transitional period to help them get rid of "the Saddamite terror."
"A judge can not reckon on the testimony of the hungry or the
terrified. The Iraqis lived more than 35 years under unprecedented
intimidation and they come up now to face the stark reality of the
earth's most oppressive occupation," he said.
Kubaizi noted that the Iraqi National Movement (INM) party - set up by
the society - is not grounded on an Islamic basis but aimed at
rebuilding a new Iraq. "It is a separate party for all Iraqis, whether
Muslims, Christians, Jews or Kurds, and it will take me some 20 years
from now to be asked about the Islamic drive in post-Saddam Iraq," he
said. "The party does not adopt an Islamic or un-Islamic ideology,
but it aspires to establish a civilian and just Iraq."
Asked if this new tendency runs counter to earlier fatwa (religious
edict) that whosoever cooperates with the Americans is an apostate, he
said this is only applied to wartime.
"But now as there is no government (in Iraq) and there must be no
fighting as well. There is much difference between Muslims who fight
off invading troops and those who are stateless and are under
occupation. We are now dealing with occupying troops as the Germans
did with the Americans and the Palestinians are with the Israelis,"
"If Saddam emerged, we would then rally behind him and fight off the
occupation but now there is no Hawza (religious authority). We will
follow the U.S.-installed government but we will also topple it if it
proved un-Islamic," he added.
In complicated post-Saddam landscape, many Iraqi Shiites reject
Iranian influence - 02 May 03
Amid the religious and political maneuverings is a sense that,
although mostly Shiite Iran looms large, it and its model of rule by
Muslim clerics will not guide Iraq's Shiites toward their future.
Iraqi suspicion of Iran predates Saddam, though. And at first blush,
it is continuing after him, defying the expectations of many who
thought Tehran would be a powerful force. Many interviewed this week
say they have seen how Iran operates and want something different.
Laid out along the banks of the Euphrates River, Najaf's significance
is in its Howza, a center of scientific, literary and theological
studies. The city of 900,000 is regarded by the world's 120 million
Shiites as their third-holiest site, behind Mecca and Medina.
In this power vacuum, Shiite religious leaders are rapidly building up
support, providing welfare assistance to communities and appointing
followers to posts of responsibility.
Religious and secular Shiites alike have challenged U.S.-proposed
civilian administrations by organizing local committees, doling out
funds to pay salaries, retrieving looted property and sending militias
to secure government buildings.
Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, who enjoys the largest following
here, said he does not want direct political power. Al-Sistani left
Najaf about 20 days ago, and clerics in his office insist they don't
know where he's gone.
Unlike al-Sistani's followers, supporters of the late Ayatollah
Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr are more politicized and have beliefs more in
line with hard-line clerics in Iran. His son, Seyyed Muqtada al-Sadr,
receives orders from Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri, who remains in Iran.
Shi'ite shrines as a counter-force - 26 Apr 03
Subhi Toma is an Iraqi-born sociologist who has lived in France for
more than 30 years. He says the political character of Iraq's Shi'ite
shrines stems from the fact that they have always had a much
better-developed school network than the rest of former Ottoman-ruled
In addition, Toma says, Iraq's holy cities enjoyed a number of
privileges that helped foster resistance to the Sunni-dominated
governments that exerted power in Baghdad after the demise of the
Ottoman Empire. "In fact the opposition [of these cities] to central
authorities was the result of privileges they had been enjoying under
Ottoman occupation - [notably] the fact that they were not required to
provide soldiers" for the Ottoman army, Toma said. "These cities were
exempted from military conscription and, with the emergence of a
centralized state that wanted to draft every [single male citizen],
that became an important factor."
Gareth Stanfield is a research fellow at the British-based University
of Exeter's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. He draws a parallel
between the early years of modern Iraqi history and recent protests
that have erupted in Karbala and other southern cities demanding the
immediate withdrawal of the US-led coalition forces.
"I think it does tie in quite strongly with the fact that the
government of Iraq, in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire, was
dominated by Sunni elites, British imperialism and ... the Sherifians
[Hashemites], which did effectively disfranchise the Shi'ite component
of society," Stanfield said. "In that sort of time, I think, the
Shi'ite religious establishment was very traditionally minded and they
opposed British imperialism, I suppose in a quite similar manner as
what is happening now, insofar as this is an external involvement and
a non-Muslim involvement into the affairs of the community, which is a
Muslim community. So really the similarities are quite striking with
that in mind."
Al-Qa'ida Affiliated Website ['Al-Nidaa] - 02 May 03
'Al-Nidaa, a website affiliated with Al-Qa'ida, recently published a
series of articles about the war in Iraq. The eleventh  part of the
series [http://www.bkufus.com/images/img/?subject=2&rec=1049] dealt
with the dangers facing Sunni Islamists in the region. The article
names a few such dangers, and refers to the emerging threat of the
Shi'a to Sunni Islamists as "greater than the threat posed by the Jews
and the Christians." The following is a summary of the main points of
"The danger of the Shi'a to the region is no less than that posed by
the Jews and the Christians. Throughout Islamic history, the Shi'a
helped the Christians and the polytheists in their battles against
Muslim countries. The seemingly anti-Jewish and anti-Christian Shi'a
hatred is nothing but slogans used to export the Khomeini revolution."
According to the article, the Shi'a in Iran developed a five-step
plan, each step lasting ten years, to export their revolution to the
countries of the region. The plan was devised by the "Shura Council of
the Iranian Cultural Revolution," and the article maintained that
"whether the plan has been truly hatched by it or not, it does reflect
Jordan Islamists change tactics - 02 May 03
The Islamist Action Front (IAF), political arm of the influential
Muslim Brotherhood, announced last week that it intends to field
candidates in Jordan's 17 June elections.
The realisation that boycotting the elections would mean being
deprived of any clout in the legislative process, or having a platform
to express their views, prompted Jordan's powerful Islamists to take
part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The IAF boycotted the last elections, held in 1997, in protest against
the government's refusal to amend the one-person, one-vote system that
they saw as a way of diluting their clout at the polls.
Prior to the one-person, one-vote system, a voter could elect up to
six MPs in some constituencies which led to a higher number of
Islamist candidates in the lower house of parliament. However, the new
system, introduced in 1993, has undermined the Islamists' strength.
Muslims protest over Kadhi courts - 26 Apr 03
In Nairobi more than 2,000 Muslims were led in a peaceful protest by
the Deputy Imam of Jamia Mosque, Sheikh Subki Shee, and the Chairman
of the Supreme Council for Muslims in Kenya (Supkem) Dr Abdulghafur
Busaidy. Shee, who addressed the demonstrators, said there was a plot
to alienate them and turn Kenya into a Christian state.
The placard-waving protesters convened at Garissa playgrounds shortly
after the Friday prayers. Sheikh Abdisalam Sheikh, who addressed the
worshippers, said Muslims may opt for a federal system of government
(Majimbo) if the Kadhi's courts were withdrawn from the Draft
Constitution. He said Muslims had enjoyed religious rights since
independence and would not backtrack on the matter.
"If need be,we will balkanise the country and declare Sharia Law in
areas predominantly occupied by Muslims," he announced amid applause
from charged crowds.
He said the Government was being influenced by Western evangelists to
scrap the rights of the Muslims from the proposed Constitution. He
further said that even the colonial government recognised the Islamic
faith during the Lancaster Constitutional Conference.
[Borneo] One God, same name - 25 Apr 03
I refer to HF and Michelle Lee Su-Lin's letters regarding the use of
the word "Allah" in the Iban Bible. If it is true that the ban on
Iban Bible is because it had included the word "Allah Taala" to refer
to God and this may offend the religious sensitivities of the
Malaysian Muslims, then something is indeed wrong with the minds of
our political leaders.
No nation, individual or religious group, let alone those in Malaysia,
can have the monopoly to say that you are not allowed to use a generic
Arabic word "Allah" to refer to the word God in English, in any book,
religious or not. That word belongs to the Arabic language and not the
In a decision indigenous Christians in eastern Malaysia have found
incomprehensible, their government in Kuala Lumpur - which considers
itself one of Asia's more successful democracies - has banned the
Bible in their native tongue.
About 9 percent of Malaysia's 23 million people are Christians, and
most live in the east of the country. Iban is spoken by more than
400,000 people, members of a Borneo tribe that was once feared for its
Among the words that cause concern is "Allah." It's the word Muslims
use for the deity they worship, but the Arabic word pre-dated Islam
and is also used by Christian Arabs when referring to God - despite
the considerable differences in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic
conceptions of God.
The Iban translation of the Bible uses the term "Allah Taala" for God,
while the other banned Christian books, in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa
Indonesia, also use "Allah" for God.
Whipping Permitted Only In Kelantan - 27 Apr 03
Only syariah courts in Kelantan can impose whipping on offenders
convicted of adultery and apostasy as the necessary law has yet to be
passed in other states, said chief syariah judge Ghazali Abdul Rahman,
who is the Syariah Judiciary Department director-general.
Don't follow Kelantan, says Rais - 27 Apr 03
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
said punishment such as whipping of offenders convicted of adultery or
other Syariah offences might also run contrary to the federal law
which specified that it could only be meted out to criminal offences
under the Penal Code.
He said the Syariah enactment passed in Kelantan was not backed by
proper implementation procedures. He said the enactment failed to
specify details such as who was authorised to carry out the punishment
or how it should be imposed.
"It is a well-known fact that the lack of uniformity in the
implementation of the Syariah laws among the States had created a lot
of problems and this should not be made worst by more enactments which
do not have proper implementation procedures.
[Sarawak] Syariah Courts handle 40-60 divorce cases daily - 30 Apr 03
Divorce cases top the number of cases handled by the nine Syariah
Courts in Sarawak. State Chief Syarii Judge, Hj Sam Hj Ojeh, said
yesterday that 40 to 60 divorce cases were heard and mentioned daily
in the nine Syariah Courts.
On another development, Sam said Sarawak recorded the lowest backlog
rate -which was five to seven percent - for Syariah cases in the
country. He attributed the achievement to the application of
"E-Syariah" software, which allowed cases to be filed within one day.
"With this system, we can just sit in front of our computers and refer
to the files by browsing through the folders in the shared database
server," he said of the software developed by Sarawak Information
Systems (SAINS) Sdn Bhd.
The Syariah Courts in Sarawak handle some 1000 cases every year.
Sarawak currently has 13 Syarii judges for all the Syariah Courts.
Sam said all the judges were men, but did not deny the possibility of
accepting a woman Syarii judge once a qualified one was found.
[Sarawak] Bill Empowers Magistrate's Court To Order
Maintenance Payment - 02 May 03
The Native Customary Marriages (Maintenance) Ordinance 2003 passed by
the State Assembly Friday empowers first class Magistrate's Court to
order maintenance payments for wives and children of parties in native
customary marriages that have been dissolved.
Earlier, in debating the Bill, Dr Fatimah Abdullah (BN-Dalat)
cautioned the government on the difficulties in enforcing the law.
She said even Syariah Courts are facing problems in dealing with
maintenance issues faced by Muslim families, especially with
individuals, who are unemployed, without permanent address, no stable
income and property.
[Terengganu] Special fund for non-Muslims - 25 Apr 03
Terengganu has set up a special fund to collect revenue from
un-Islamic activities, with the money to be spent on non-Muslims.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the RM129,200 [Eur
30.000,-] licensing fee collected from six conventional pawnshops last
year had been channelled into the fund.
The state would persuade the pawnshop operators to convert to Islamic
practices when the six licences expired next year, he said when
winding up the speech on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address at
the state assembly yesterday.
Inheritance course - 30 Mar 03
A course on Islamic law of inheritance opened at College of Sharia and
Law yesterday. The three-week course is attended by bequests section
employees at the courts of first instance.
[NWFP] Resolution filed in PA to make veil mandatory - 02 May 03
A Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) MPA from Shangla has submitted a
resolution in the Provincial Assembly, which if unanimously passed by
the house, will make wearing of veil compulsory for every women in the
"The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government wants to implement the Islamic
laws or shariat in the province, and wearing a veil should be made
compulsory for every girl above 12 years of age when she goes out of
her house," mover of the resolution, Pir Muhammad Khan told Dawn .
According Section 135(2) proviso of the Procedure and Conduct of
Provincial Assembly, "If a resolution is unanimously adopted, it shall
be binding on the Provincial Cabinet to implement the same".
The opposition a few days ago also resisted an Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal
resolution describing the pant and shirt as un-Islamic dress and
criticized the MMA for "making a non-issue an issue in the house".
Philippine rebels continue push for Islamic state - 01 May 03
A leader of the largest Muslim separatist group in the Philippines has
rejected an appeal by Malaysia appeal to drop demands for a separate
Islamic state, and settle for limited self-rule instead. The vice
chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Ghazali Jaafar, has
told the AFP news agency that autonomy is not the answer.
Liberal Islamic Voice Speaks Out Loud - 29 Apr 03
Out of a tiny room in a communal apartment in central Moscow,
Mangushev, 48, leads a small following of Russian Muslims who are
deeply dissatisfied with the official Muslim clergy. The group is
seeking to reform sharia -- Islamic law -- in order to reconcile Islam
with the pluralist democracy Russia is becoming.
"Unlike the Koran, sharia is man-made law," Mangushev said earlier
this month in an interview in a Moscow cafe. "It was created by
wonderful lawyers 14 centuries ago and was very good for its time. But
not today. Its aspects dealing with the constitutional order,
international relations, human rights and criminal law need to be
Mangushev's view is based in part on the book "Toward an Islamic
Reformation," [http://islamlib.com/BUKU/islamicreformation1.html%5d by
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, a U.S. law professor. An-Na'im claims that
the new -- and true -- Muslim society should be based on the tolerant
ayats, or verses from the Koran, proclaimed by Mohammed in Mecca,
rather than more militant ones later proclaimed by him in Medina.
With this outlook, parts of sharia dealing with women's rights, the
rights of non-Muslims and the use of force in international relations
should be restructured, while slavery and corporal punishment should
Mangushev's approach has certainly won him detractors. "His knowledge
is zero," said Farid Asadullin, aide to Ravil Gainutdin, head of the
Council of Russian Muftis. "We told him, 'You first go at least
through a madrassa course, and then someone will take you seriously.'
It is a peculiar aspect of Mangushev's ideology that he steadfastly
refuses to study in an Islamic institution, believing that only people
from outside the system can reform the religion. He doesn't read
Arabic, relying on his students to translate for him.
Saudi Arabia Awakes to the Perils of Inbreeding - 01 May 03
Across the Arab world today an average of 45 percent of married
couples are related, according to Dr. Nadia Sakati, a pediatrician and
senior consultant for the genetics research center at King Faisal
Specialist Hospital in Riyadh.
In some parts of Saudi Arabia, particularly in the south, where Mrs.
Hefthi was raised, the rate of marriage among blood relatives ranges
from 55 to 70 percent, among the highest rates in the world, according
to the Saudi government.
Widespread inbreeding in Saudi Arabia has produced several genetic
disorders, Saudi public health officials said, including the blood
diseases of thalassemia, a potentially fatal hemoglobin deficiency,
and sickle cell anemia. Spinal muscular atrophy and diabetes are also
common, especially in the regions with the longest traditions of
marriage between relatives. Dr. Sakati said she had also found links
between inbreeding and deafness and muteness.
Now, for the first time, the government, after starting a nationwide
educational campaign to inform related couples who intend to marry of
the risk of genetic disease, is planning to require mandatory blood
tests before marriage and premarital counseling.
Today, when most unions are still arranged by parents, marrying into
wealth and influence often means marrying a relative. Social lives are
so restricted that it is virtually impossible for men and women to
meet one another outside the umbrella of an extended family.
Courtships without parental supervision are rare.
Not all marriages between close relatives produce children with
genetic disorders. In fact, most do not. But testing could identify
couples who test positive for serious diseases. Under a fatwa issued
by the World Islamic League in 1990, Islam permits abortions up to 120
days after conception if an unborn child tests positive for a serious
Humane Slaughter to Yield Better Beef - 30 Apr 03
a local animal rights group, the Uganda Society for the Protection and
Care of Animals (USPCA), is now promoting a new system that will
lessen the pain. Using a pistol-like device known as the captive bolt
pistol, abattoir workers will do their work faster, in a safer way and
produce better quality meat, while reducing the pain of the animals
The captive bolt is used to stun the animal before its throat is slit.
This way it will not struggle with the butchers because it will be
unconscious. The method will also ensure good quality meat because it
will not be bruised as often happens when an animal is struggling.
Sheikh Juma Nsamba, Chairman of the National Slaughtering Committee of
the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, who tested the captive bolt
confirmed that it does not kill the cow. He concluded that the
slaughter was halal (holy) and therefore the meat was suitable for
Law Enforcement Community Offered Guide to Muslims - 02 May 03
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) publication, "A Law
Enforcement Official's Guide to the Muslim Community," outlines basic
information about Islamic beliefs that are relevant to law
enforcement. It also cover issues such as the rights of Muslim law
enforcement officers, religiously-sensitive techniques for body
searches, proper etiquette for entering Muslim homes, and advice on
outreach to the Islamic community.
Readers of Right-Wing Site Threaten Muslims - 29 Apr 03
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today reported that
it has received numerous hate-filled and threatening messages from the
readers of a right-wing Islamophobic Web site [Worldnetdaily.com]. The
Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group is working
with the Department of Justice to investigate those messages that
CAIR officials say the hate-filled e-mails were prompted by a number
of Worldnetdaily.com articles demonizing Muslims and by recent false
charges made against CAIR by the site's editor, Joseph Farah.
Farah falsely claimed CAIR never condemned suicide bombings, called
the conviction of the first World Trade Center bombings a "travesty of
justice," termed the conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman a "hate crime,"
and that CAIR's board chairman said the Quran "should be the highest
authority in America."
First American Muslim Television Channel - 30 Apr 03
New York-based Bridges Network, Inc., announced today that it will
launch Bridges TV, the first ever nationwide English-language Muslim
television channel in North America. The expected launch date is
summer 2004, pending how quickly the network can gather the 10,000
paying members necessary to demonstrate public support.
[Dubai] Yusuf Islam takes on issues facing Islamic educators
Prominent school principals from the UAE and Qatar and members of the
International Board of Educational Research & Resources (IBERR) met
yesterday at the Knowledge Village to discuss new challenges facing
educators and development of a standard International Islamic Schools'
curriculum and resources based on Islamic principles and values for
steadily increasing the number of Islamic schools being established
here and abroad.
At the meeting, the principals talked about the challenges they have
been facing after September 11 and identified curricular needs and
mechanisms through which they can share best practices and cooperate
to realise the goal of producing balanced and dedicated Muslims who
will understand the roots of Islamic thought and its global relevance
to have an impact on the modern world.
IBERR, through its global network of several hundred schools in USA,
UK, South Africa, Canada, Australia and other countries, is involved
in several research initiatives. Its plans include helping schools
cope with the academic and cultural demands of parents particularly in
the growing marketplace of educational choice offered in the UAE.
Yemeni elections strengthen Saleh's rule - 29 Apr 03
Yemen has advanced an additional step towards enhancing its democracy
through the legislative elections which took place on Sunday with the
participation of all Yemeni parties.
the real concentration was on the competition between the ruling party
of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and "the Yemeni coalition for reform"
of Islamic inclination, which accused its opponents of being the
"Taliban" of Yemen and that it paid large sums assets for its election
[Pakistan] NBP to open stand-alone Islamic banking branches
.. - 22 Apr 03
The National bank of Pakistan (NBP), which has a customer base of over
nine million, said in its annual report for 2002 that it was planning
to open stand-alone Islamic Banking branches.
[Hedge Funds] Are Islamic alternative investments now a reality?
Sukuk - a viable alternative to bonds - 28 Apr 03
[Bahrain] BIB provides Murabaha facility to First Islamic Investment
.. - 02 May 03
Bahrain Islamic Bank (BIB) has announced that it has agreed to provide
a revolving Murabaha Facility to First Islamic Investment Bank.
The Murabaha facility will involve the purchase and sale of assets
arranged by First Islamic. The term of the facility is two years.
The Securities House of Kuwait is to act as lead investor in the
issuance of a USD75m Islamic sukuk for the First Islamic Investment
Bank and invest USD30m. A statement said the sukuk would allow
Bahrain's First Islamic to expand in Europe and strengthen its balance
sheet. The issue will close on April 30 and the bank expects a
[Thailand] Islamic Bank In Thailand To Be Inaugurated In June - 27
The Islamic Bank of Thailand will be officially opened on June 1,
according to a report of the Thai News Agency Saturday.
[Interior minister] Wan Noor said that the Islamic Bank of Thailand
would be initially operated with a capital of 500 million baht (11.90
million US dollars) from the Ministry of Finance, the Government
Savings Bank (GSB), and the government's pension fund, half of its
planned initial capital of 1.0 billion baht (23 million US dollars).
The private sector, as well as the Islamic Bank of Brunei and an
investment fund from Bahrain have also expressed their interest in
jointly investing in the Islamic Bank of Thailand, according to the
[Malaysia] MNRB's takaful venture to operate by July - 01 May 03
Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian
National Reinsurance Bhd (MNRB), is expected to operate Islamic
insurance by July this year. Its chairman, Mohammad Abdullah, said
that MNRB was making the necessary arrangements to start Takaful
Ikhlas by the middle of this year, with a paid-up capital of RM51
million. "It will be a separate company, concentrating on life and
general insurance," he told a press conference
Currently, three main players of the takaful insurance, Takaful
Malaysia Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd and Maybank Takaful Bhd,
have penetrated five percent of the industry.
Asked on the rationale of venturing into the takaful business, Anuar
said that the takaful insurance, which operates under the Syariah law,
has the element of profit sharing, which is not available under other
[Malaysia] Hong Leong to bank on Islamic ops - 02 May 03
Hong Leong Bank Bhd expects its Islamic banking operations to chalk up
a higher contribution to the group's total earnings for the year
ending June 30, 2003, in view of the rising demand for its
Its general manager (Islamic banking division) Ismail Aminuddin said
Islamic banking currently accounted for more than 11% of Hong Leong
Bank group's total pre-tax profit. He did not elaborate on the quantum
of increase expected.
"As stipulated in the Financial Sector Master Plan, Islamic
market share (compared with the total banking operations in the
country) is expected to increase to 20% by 2010. Based on this, we
also expect the bank to ride on the growing Islamic market for its
The bank's total Islamic assets grew from RM 2.5bil [EUR 586 mill] (as
at June 30, 2001) to RM 3.5bil [EUR 820 mill.] as at June 30, 2002.
Loans, advances and financing likewise increased from RM1.1bil (2001)
to RM1.7bil in 2002.
The bank, which started its Islamic banking operations in 1994, to
date has 13 syariah-based products. These include deposit products
such as al-wadiah (savings and current account), mudharabah (savings
and general investment account) and financing products such as al-bai
bithaman ajil (deferred payment sale) and Islamic higher purchase
(under the syariah concept of al-ijarah thuma al-bai).
Currently more than 60% of the bank's depositors for its Islamic
banking operations are non-Muslims and Ismail expects the number to
increase in the near future.
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